Hi there! My mom requested a canning kit for Christmas. There are so many choices (I've been perusing Amazon)! Can you recommend a good one? Thanks!
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Do you know what it is she wants to can? Meat? Fruit and tomatoes from the garden? Jam? Big jars/small jars? I would think that would give the real canning experts a better idea of what to start with.
Thanks for the quick reply. She's interested in canning fruits and veggies, jams and tomatoes for sauces. She keeps a vegetable garden in the summer, and forages lots of berries. Maybe big jars for storage, and small jars for gifts? She's pretty crafty, so I am sure she would get pretty into it, and I think she can handle something in-depth!
My husband and I finally broke down and bought our own canning set this summer. We ended up going with a Presto 16 qt. pressure canning set, which can be used for both hot water processing and for pressure canning low-acid foods. We got a Ball accessory kit with a jar lifter and various tools, and the whole thing set us back about $100, but we absolutely love our equipment and the process. We've got jars and jars of tomatoes, pickles, and homemade stock lining our pantry shelves now, and every time we crack one open, we get a little giddy thinking this was stuff we put up ourselves (Mrs. Wheelbarrow is totally to blame, no THANK, for giving us the canning bug).
Lee Valley sells the very best pan for making jams, marmalades and pickles, too, since it is stainless steel & won't react with acid. They call it a maslin pan. It is huge, with a very thick bottom for good heat distribution, a hoop handle & pouring spout.
I've had mine for 10years & love it.
Depends on what she wants to do. Low-acid vegetables and fruits must be pressure-canned. Jams, pickles, jellies, and tomatoes can be done in a water-bath canner. Jardine (formerly Ball, the big name in canning) sells a good stainless steel water bath. Don't get a cheap graniteware one; it won't last. As for a pressure canner, that's much more expensive and will set you back almost 200 bucks for the best one, made by All American. Both canners are sold by Amazon and you can find reviews there. The rest is easy: a jar lifter, a wide mouth funnel, jars and lids, canning jars. Ball puts out a good guide to canning, and there are a number of good jelly/jam/pickle books (I like the ones by Linda Ziedrich.) It pays to get quality equipment; I've been doing this for years!
These are great options, thank you so much for helping me understand the wild world of canning!
It is a semi-wild world. Fun, though. Sides a kit and a book, promise to share the experience and you and your mom will both be happy!